The Pilgrim's Odyssey is your navigator for an intentional life based on family, faith, and living free. Silouan Green, The Pilgrim's Odyssey host, began to find his own answers after a tragic jet crash on an epic 23-month, over 20,000 mile motorcycle trip. For over 20 years, he has spoken and taught thousands to take positive action in facing the trials and traumas of life.
Many Rivers To Cross
The great Jimmy Cliff wrote:
Many rivers to cross
But I can't seem to find my way over
Wandering I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of Dover
They are the lyrics of a beautiful and winsome song, the ode of a life traveler beaten down, but still moving forward.
It seems lately, I’ve been crossing a lot of rivers, from Seattle to Maine and now I’m somewhere in the middle in Wisconsin. Often weary, I keep traveling and I’ve experienced some magical things that keep me moving forward.
In Kitsap County, outside of Seattle I heard some amazing stories. Actually, some miraculous stories. A miraculous grocery store bailout and a well timed reading of –
Mark 11:23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
There is a richness of life you can only find in listening to others and allowing them to reveal themselves. On a computer screen or phone, life can become one-dimensional, just an assortment of pixels. In person, in the presence of another, you are reminded of why the answer to life is living, is loving, is experiencing this world around us.
You have many rivers to cross. When we open our eyes and ears to other people with no other filter than our hearts, we find wonder.
So We Blew Up An Aid Worker
For those who don’t trust America, this is a good reason why. We bomb aid workers so our leaders can act tough.
From the NY Times:
“President Joe Biden murdered an innocent family when the US military conducted a "righteous strike" on Aug. 29 against a vehicle that American officials thought was an ISIS bomb that posed an imminent threat to thousands of people at the Kabul airport.”
“In a late Friday afternoon report, the New York Times reveals that "Military officials said they did not know the identity of the car’s driver when the drone fired, but deemed him suspicious because of how they interpreted his activities that day, saying that he possibly visited an ISIS safe house and, at one point, loaded what they thought could be explosives into the car."
“Times reporting has identified the driver as Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group. The evidence, including extensive interviews with family members, co-workers and witnesses, suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work. And an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen was Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.”
“While the U.S. military said the drone strike might have killed three civilians, Times reporting shows that it killed 10, including seven children, in a dense residential block.”
“Mr. Ahmadi, 43, had worked since 2006 as an electrical engineer for Nutrition and Education International, a California-based aid and lobbying group. The morning of the strike, Mr. Ahmadi’s boss called from the office at around 8:45 a.m., and asked him to pick up his laptop.”
Why did we do this? To strike back at ISIS-K who killed our young Marines, a Navy Corpsman, and a soldier at the KABUL airport. But we did it blindly, and we lied about it. And this is why our actions must matter, and be more than statements. We must stand for what we believe.
Toyota, Supply Chains, And You
New cars, especially popular new cars can be hard to find, and a long wait if you order. This has resulted in skyrocketing used car prices. But one manufacturer has been almost immune to the computer chip shortage that has plagued auto-manufacturers, Toyota. At a time where American manufacturers have experienced incredibly decreased production, GM at 60%, Ford at 50%, Toyota has led the world by staying at over 90% production.
How did they do this? They predicted the supply problem if chip production was ever disrupted, and they stock-piled computer chips. Pretty simple, huh?
As the article I was reading in Fortune magazine about this said,
“Unlike many of its rivals, Toyota essentially stockpiles chips. That’s a deviation from JIT, which dictates that supplies reach the production line only when they are needed. (Stockpiles occupy valuable space on the factory floor, as well as on the company’s books.) In practice, Toyota’s suppliers do the actual stockpiling. Like all automakers, the company relies on a multitude of components that contain semiconductors, such as smart displays or audio systems. Toyota requires suppliers of those components to maintain up to a six months’ buffer supply of chips dedicated to Toyota orders—just in case.”
Now why I do bring this up? Because we can learn in these uncertain times from Toyota. Identify what you need to “stockpile” and do so.
And it might not just be goods. How about stockpiling time with your family and friends? How about building relationships with people you’d need in a time of need. How about building your “spiritual” home for future threats to your faith?
When you are caught short-handed, it is too late to stockpile. We also tend to make bad decisions during times of crisis. We make short-sighted corrections that lead to worse problems. Just look at our responses to Covid.
Preparation is a common biblical theme:
The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
My Precious, You Are What You Love
You are what you love. This is why we can have a culture where people have many things they “love”, but their souls are being destroyed. We can be both “happy” and depressed. Searching for life, but filled with death.
I was reminded of this fact reading an article about video game addiction that mentioned a 2016 book by James K. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. It is about shaping a Christian life, and realizing, you are what you love, and often, we might not love what we think. Or I would say, what you desire and falsely love. And even if it is something that would destroy you, this desire shapes our hearts and who we are.
In the article I came across by Carmel Richardson for The American Spectator, for many of our young and not so young, it is video games. Especially young boys and men.
From the article:
“Gaming addictions are real and damaging, even beyond the well-documented: shorter attention spans, academic struggles, and a handful of basement-dwelling Call of Duty players who went off the rails. If those weren’t enough, gamers are also highly prone to depression, and increasingly, studies show strong correlations between gaming and suicide rates.”
“The demographic most hurt is young men. Statistically, gamers are teen boys, in the phase of life when they seek excitement most and are tempered by maturity least. Video games, which promise endless excitement, can be incredibly addictive to boys of this age. One 2020 poll, done by Michigan Medicine, shows teen boys are far more likely than girls to spend three or more hours gaming in a given day, and boys are twice as susceptible to gaming addictions in general than are girls. To say boys are the only ones to blame would be inaccurate, but certainly the problem affects them more than their female counterparts.”
The author’s main question, why do we allow video games to proliferate the young so unencumbered? Her implication and my answer, we all have our own “video games” and to limit the youth would mean to shine a light on our own “loves”.
When we are blind to what we truly love, we tend to see things the way we want to see them. In a culture where we can get so easily distracted from reality in a search to create our own reality, is it any wonder that we are so divided over data and facts that we cannot agree upon, because we see what we want to see?
Finding Clarity When The World Is Upside Down
This isn’t a rumor. It’s just taken a while for it to become public. As of today, there are six planes filled with American Citizens and Afghan interpreters at the Mazar Sharif Airport being held hostage. It is finally being reported by mainstream news sources such as CBS.
From a news report:
A satellite image that was released on Sunday reportedly shows six airplanes that the Taliban is not allowing to fly out of Afghanistan. The planes are supposed to be carrying American citizens and Afghan interpreters who helped the U.S. Military.
The satellite image follows a report from CBS News and remarks from a top U.S. lawmaker on Sunday that both said that the circumstances have effectively turned into a hostage situation.
“Multiple planes that are ready to take American citizens and green card holders out of the country are being denied permission to leave by the Taliban,” CBS News reported, according to congressional and NGO sources. An email viewed by the network said that the flights were cleared to land in Qatar “if and when” the Taliban agreed to let them leave.
A senior congressional source told the network that “the Taliban is basically holding them hostage to get more out of the Americans.”
What has happened to America 2021 that this isn’t leading every news program? What has happened that our government so cavalierly has left these people on the tarmac? It’s enough to drive one crazy.
In our upside-down world, we just visited the community of St. Tikhons Monastery and Seminary in the rural community of South Canaan, PA, nested in the hills of the Pocono Mountains. To many people, the scene of family and kids all centered around church might seem crazy. But it isn’t. It’s probably one of the sanest things I’ve seen in years.
Counterculture and radical is a big family centered on faith and each other. Nothing crazy about it, just living as human beings were created to live, focused on the things that matter in life.
“Our Generous Host Nation”
As the last American forces left Afghanistan and the Taliban took over the airfield in triumph, our commanding General, General Mackenzie thanked “our generous host nation” and expressed regret at leaving only about 250 Americans behind. The generals leave us as they led us, as liars. The politicians even worse.
“General McKenzie is basing his “very few hundreds” comment on those who have gone through official channels to specifically declare they want to leave and who have demonstrated they are American citizens. But many, many more were either unable to go through official channels as they evaded the Taliban or could not sufficiently prove they were American citizens. If they couldn’t fax a passport to the Embassy, they weren’t counted, according to sources at the State Department.”
While General Mackenzie was desecrating the stars he wears with his lies and our last plane was leaving the Kabul airport and stranded Americans to the Taliban, this happened the same weekend in Chicago:
"Forty people were shot, four of them fatally,...."
Where is the critical examination of the policies State and Local government have executed for decades, and how it might have a part in this. After all, Chicago is run by one political party. If an honest news organization wanted to, it would be pretty easy to analyze a little cause and effect. But we are continually let down by a politically, and ideologically led media.
And as the generals, politicians and reporters lie, and people die.
I know Siloan a little...He coaches young men in the same basketball program in which my daughters play. He’s an original...a truly interesting and engaging man! This fact comes across in this podcast. This is a great burst of inspiration to kick off your morning or, honestly, to listen to at any point in your day. It lives up to its billing!
Been a fan for about 21 years, great stuff!
EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA
This guy sets the standard for uplifting, hard-hitting, no-holds-barred podcasts